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Week 8 Review

by Big Al

The Big Ten got started, and it sure was worth the wait. Unless you're a Penn State fan, when it could have waited another week.

Indiana 36 - Penn State 35

Let's be honest, there isn't one person on this earth that knows whether Michael Penix actually scored on that 2-point conversion. Nobody. Truth be told, I don't think he quite made it, but I know I'm as likely to be wrong as right. I don't remember ever seeing a replay that was so easy to see, yet so impossible to judge.

I actually really feel sorry for Penn State here. They started the season against a team that has played them very tough the last few years, had several bad breaks, and still almost pulled out a win on a best-guess judgment call. They had four quarters plus overtime of extreme effort, and now they need to take on #3 Ohio State.

Penn State was clearly and obviously the better team. But Indiana won anyway. That's how things happen, sometimes.

All the same, I am very impressed by Indiana. They kept fighting, even though they were getting beat up all game. They found a way to get just enough offense and take just enough advantage of Penn State's mistakes to pull out probably the biggest win in their history, and beat Penn State for the first time ever. Great job, Hoosiers!

Michigan 49 - Minnesota 24

I'm not ready to call Michigan a team that's ready to compete at the top of the Big Ten, but this was a nice way to start. I'm not entirely sold on them after watching them play, but they were starting a new quarterback on the road in the first game of the season. They did well against a good team. We'll keep an eye on them.

Clemson 47 - Syracuse 21

Okay, fine Clemson didn't get out of the gate fast. But they still beat a team that has given them fits over the last few years. Not an easy knockout, but they still won. That's the only thing you need to do.

Notre Dame 45 - Pittsburgh 3

Notre Dame is starting to look very good. Two weeks from now, we find out just how good.

Ohio State 52 - Nebraska 17

Returning to the topic of judgment calls, Ohio State got quite a few breaks from the refs in this game. I'm not saying Ohio State wouldn't have beaten Nebraska anyway, but they were definitely getting some relief from the men in stripes.

Nebraska is starting the year pretty rough, and starting off with Ohio State is just about the worst way to do it in the Big Ten. Next week, they need to take on Wisconsin. We'll find out more then. But they are looking much-improved this year.

Oklahoma State 24 - Iowa State 21

I completey forgot about this game in the preview. Not that it turned out any different than I would have picked. Oklahoma State is definitely the team to beat in the Big XII this year.

Cincinnati 42 - SMU 13

I thought Cincinnati would win, but I didn't think they would be able to handle SMU's offense so well. SMU gets their points. But they couldn't do it against Cincinnati. Now that's a team to respect. In any conference.

North Carolina 48 - North Carolina State 21

UNC is back on track with a win over an in-state rival. Perhaps the FSU game was a one-off. But they are still a team to respect.

Wake Forest 23 - Virginia Tech 16

Wake Forest isn't going away either. Nice that they are still respectable.

Coastal Carolina 28 - Georgia Southern 14

Coastal Carolina is ranked, and they won their first game as a ranked team! That's pretty cool, Chanticleers.

Alabama 48 - Tennessee 17

Yeah, Alabama beats Tennessee. Anyway, losing Jaylen Waddle is a big deal. He's one of those guys who catches the ball and then you say, "Wow!" He was fast. Very fast. Ridiculously fast, with a burst that got him up to top speed in no time. Alabama is going to miss him. Might not be until the playoffs, but they will miss him.

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